Interstate Distributor Owner Operator Program

Topic 20885 | Page 3

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Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Maybe I will get lucky and win the lottery. That way I can buy a truck and run it without worry of financial ruin. Than I can give hard numbers. Actual costs, actual income, gross income, tax rates, fuel usage and cost, maintenance overhead, etc... actually that would incredibly fun, create a detailed spread sheet showing everything. But alas, I doubt I will ever win it big. Mainly because you have to buy lottery tickets to win the lottery, lol.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chris M's Comment
member avatar

Again, my point is not about the issue of leasing versus not leasing. It's about chiding someone who offered advice to another person, because you think that advice is wrong. Nothing he said in his original reply was incorrect. Whether you like it or not.

If your opinion is different, then state your opinion. That is what the forum is for. You can do that without chiding someone for replying in a manner that you think was wrong. Contrary to popular belief, differing opinions are a good thing. Everyone here is an adult, and adults need to make their own decisions. Don't try to make the decision for someone. Help them by giving them relevant information. You can do that without blasting someone else's opinion. That is all I'm saying and I hope you'll take that to heart.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Contrary to popular belief, differing opinions are a good thing.

No, that's not true. I would say helpful, educated, well thought out opinions from an authority on a matter are a good thing.

I'm not a fan of the Amazon or Ebay model of letting every knucklehead in the peanut gallery shout out all kinds of baloney and then forcing everyone to sort through it all to figure it out for themselves. I'm a big believer in getting a handful of opinions from people who really, really know what they're talking about.

Susan has a lot of first hand knowledge about owning trucks. She says it's a nightmare.

Old School has many years of experience owning trucks for his manufacturing business. He's run the numbers himself on owning or leasing trucks. He says it's a nightmare.

I've been a business owner for a lot of years in various businesses, including trucking, and I've been an investor for almost 20 years. I know how to dissect a business model and I say that buying or leasing a truck is a nightmare.

So you have a lot of very well informed opinions from people with a lot of business experience saying that owning or leasing a truck isn't a good business to go into. You also have a long list of publicly traded trucking companies with decades of experience whose numbers are online for anyone to see. Their average profit margin is about 3%. This is a commodity business. You aren't going to get anywhere in a commodity business with one or two or even a handful of units. If you're lucky you're going to make what a company driver makes, and that is not how you define being successful in business.

We're happy to hear the other side of that if someone has actual proof that they were truly successful at it and can demonstrate to us how it's done. I've challenged people for almost 11 years now on this website to demonstrate to me that they've been truly successful as a lease driver or owner operator over a significant period of time and never once has anyone been able to do it. So I don't want to hear the opinion that you can be successful at leasing or owning a truck until we define exactly what success is and then someone can demonstrate to us that they've done it.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Chris...way down below is what BQ originally wrote...where are his facts? What is correct about it? IMO by saying "sure it's possible to be successful", void of proof and without defining what success is or even understanding it, is flat out wrong. We give advice here,...by definition it must be truthful, be supported by some shred of factuality, and also complete.

To thoroughly research this requires a driver to capture per mile costs of running their truck and the actual value of the truck they are leasing before the mark-up and interest is applied. Did BQ offer anything like that in his response?

The carriers writing these leases will never disclose any of those numbers. THEY ARE MAKING MONEY OFF THE LEASE before the driver turns mile one!!! How does that make you "feel"?

The only way to understand the true cost of running the truck is to enter into the agreement. Too late... The only way to know the actual value of a truck is to price them at a dealer and/or on an internet market. No one does that because it's almost always an emotional decision..."feels good, so it must be good". No offense but most of the drivers who enter into these agreements are easy marks, being taken advantage of. So yeah Chris...I get worked up when someone tries to support it with no f'ing clue.

Again, take a real good look at what Robert wrote. His numbers are what really matters. They are void of any feelings...they are real.

You want to make this personal, and call me childish for calling out opinions void of fact, that's on you Chris. I do take it to heart when advice is given, without the support of logical and truthful facts. Trust me Chris,...if Brett had issues with how I conducted myself in this thread, I'd know it by now and would humbly offer an apology (which I have done in the past when I was wrong).

Here is BQ's original reply...

Idon't know the exact figures for particular leasing programs but have come across drivers who are successful, some are not. You will find many on this site are strongly against it. If you are a business minded person and understand how to keep costs as low as possible (tracking fuel prices, driving in a manner to conserve said fuel, keep maintenance up and limiting preventable breakdowns (stuff happens but you can be proactive in prevention), keep record clean and insurance costs manageable, etc) and willing to put in work to keep income up it is possible to be a successful l/o or o/o. Some ppl aren't good with running a business, others excel. Every trucking company, big and small started somewhere and grew. It's certainly not impossible but make sure you do thourough research and are willing to put in work. Best of luck.

So...in the end without a clear definition of success (as Brett aptly pointed out), how can the above be true, or factual or even possible? I stated BQ's reply was anecdotal. I still believe that, stand by it and call me childish Chris, will continue to call out anyone offering advice like this.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Let's make it simple. Few people survive 1 year in trucking. Few people become successful lease or owner ops. So it stands to reason that even fewer people will become a successful lease op as a Rookie. I am sure someone, some where has pulled it off. But the odds are VERY much stacked against you. I will say it again, to attempt being a lease op without even knowing and understanding this industry is just flat out financial suicide.

I am willing to bet anyone on this site that is at least modestly successful at being an L/O or O/O has at LEAST 2 years experience. Since Robert has replied once, I will ask of him to state how long has he been driving truck? How many years experience as a company driver and how many years as a L/O (O/O)?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Susan wrote:

GTown is a very serious and passionate guy when it comes to trucking. He doesn't want to see a driver get suckered into a financially devastating venture.

Thanks Susan. At times the passion is misunderstood and perceived as anger. You clearly understand me and in this case "get" exactly where I am coming from. Thank you again for offering some calm in the storm.

Popcorn...? Is that for eating or throwing?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, my good friend, you have been here long enough to know that when there's a leasing thread you should back away and not go against the flock.

smile.gif

BQ 's Comment
member avatar

Again, my point is not about the issue of leasing versus not leasing. It's about chiding someone who offered advice to another person, because you think that advice is wrong. Nothing he said in his original reply was incorrect. Whether you like it or not.

If your opinion is different, then state your opinion. That is what the forum is for. You can do that without chiding someone for replying in a manner that you think was wrong. Contrary to popular belief, differing opinions are a good thing. Everyone here is an adult, and adults need to make their own decisions. Don't try to make the decision for someone. Help them by giving them relevant information. You can do that without blasting someone else's opinion. That is all I'm saying and I hope you'll take that to heart.

Thanks Chris, you seem to have gotten the point. At no point am I recommending the driver jump into any form of a lease. I did however simply recommend he do his due diligence in researching the idea and be sure to be ready to work hard and be very attentive to all responsibilities if chooses such a route. Some folks get what they want out of a post. No worries here.

Also, success is a subjective term, everyone may interpret it differently. Some folks feel successs in just getting out of bed every day, some by making it thru each day not in a box, some not until CEO at google, others at a mid level manegement position at McDonald's etc........

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

So let me see if I have this right. Your advice about becoming an owner operator or lease driver is that people should do their homework, which is why he asked the question in the first place, and that some people are successful and some are not, but success could mean anything from getting out of bed in the morning to running one of the largest, most successful companies in the history of mankind.

[sarcasm]

Great advice, friend. I mean, super helpful. Now we all know so much more about the world.

[/sarcasm]

In other words, you don't have the very first clue about the matter. And yet you say to Chris, "you seem to have gotten the point" as if the rest of us are just a little too dumb to wrap our heads around your brilliance?

wtf-2.gif

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

The bottom line from TruckingTruth's perspective is simple.....do not buy or lease a truck. If you want to be a business owner, find a business you have an opportunity to differentiate yourself with, one that is not a commodity product or service.

You can think of a small trucking business the same way you would owning a family farm. You'll work from morning til night, the better part of seven days a week, and if all goes well you'll make just enough money to keep doing it but you'll never get ahead.

The problem in business, as with life in general, is that things do not always go well. So when something goes wrong and it puts you in a hole financially, there's no way to really dig out of that hole when you're running a business that's only scraping by. The good times don't put enough money in the bank to stay ahead through the bad times. The bad times whittle away at your savings, you take out some loans and get some credit cards to stay afloat, and after a while you finally realize the hard way that no matter what you do there's just no money in a commodity business unless you're super, super huge. You need tremendous scale with a commodity business because the profit per unit is very, very tiny.

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